Saturday night, Jan 30th, 2010 at Atomix, San Antonio, TX
A long line of people wrapped around the building that houses Atomix, a leading San Antonio alternative club. Girls in colorful but skimpy shirts, short skirts and a brightly colored array of monster boots stood shivering in the unusually cold January night seemingly anxiously to get inside into the warmth. The boys in the queue were a bit luckier as leather trench coats are always in fashion for gothic club wear and thus most of them were protected from the cold. The crowd began to line up well before show time to see both Seileen and GPKism. Some of them talked about having driven over four hours to reach the show. It was this kind of excitement and a heated sense of appreciation that permeated the atmosphere for those waiting.
At last the door opened and the line slowly began to snake inside. Once inside the crowd began to disperse with most heading to the merch tables or heading straight for the front of the stage. The audience was quite mixed with a good many minors, some of whom were there for their very first show, and adults with years of experience at lives. The intimate atmosphere of the club made for easy conversation while waiting for the bands to begin and the corner holding the diagonal stage was quite packed.
Burandon opened the evening with a short set followed by Sleep Now Yes. They did six songs, including a reworked "Phoenix" and the crowd seemed to be having a good time revving up for the rest of their evening. Sleep Now Yes filled the room with special smoke effects that smelled of maple syrup and made the stage almost impossible to see and a lot of the crowd took this set as a good opportunity to get a drink or chat with friends. Only when the smoke began to dissipate and the cloying aroma faded did the rest of the audience in the room move back into their places before the stage. A few hardy souls and truly devoted fans had remained throughout and they now leaned against the front edge watching for the set change to end.
It was near 10pm when the trio of colorful and scantily clad dancers for DJ SiSen took the stage to a throbbing beat. The girls moved to the beat and SiSen helped them move, his three song set easily hyping his fans, ramping up the anticipation with each new beat. His own costuming was quite dramatic with a skin-tight black and white vertically stripped corset top and falls upon which was perched a little top hat. At the front of the stage girls jumprf in place, clearly pumped up for the show. As his short solo set ended Selia joined him on stage in order to form Seileen.
Selia’s entrance came as that of a bride ready for her wedding day. The layers of tulle on the skirt of the gown Selia wore flowed in dreamy waves. Gloved hands reached for the audience as if they were lovers during each song. Selia wore a white ruffle of fur about the neck and this combined with long alabaster locks gave the illusion of that of a goddess of ice and snow, a princess of the northern wastes sent to earth to sing with haunting beauty. Selia is a lovely countertenor with incredible range and versatility that left the audience in awe.
The set was seven songs in length and included "Eden without Eve," "Carnival of Blood" and "Demento." Throughout their time on stage both artists sought to connect with the audience and create a mood that was likely far more surreal than most of the club-goers expected. The blend of electronic dance beats and a haunting vocal style was unexpected and artistic. Selia is a truly gifted vocalist and the pairing was a true sonic delight.
After Seileen exited the stage, Roger from Tainted Reality came out and spoke to the audience as a way to further introduce the bands to their American audience. He was quite jovial as he instructed the crowd to put their cameras away and invited people to listen to both of the duos on Tainted Reality Radio. Behind him Kiwamu (formerly of Blood) set everything up quite swiftly and everything was ready for GPKism to begin.
When Gothique Prince Ken (the GPK of GPKism) and Kiwamu moved to the stage and took their places the fans erupted in cheers. The duo opened with "Illuminatum," the first of their eleven songs. GPK moved easily through the lyrics until Kiwamu had to stop someone from taking photographs. Once the fan put the camera away the music continued and the rest of the show ran smoothly and it was difficult to tell that there had been an interruption.
Gothique Prince Ken was dressed in black patent leather and lace. His ruffled skirt was quite short, allowing for his thigh-high boots to be visible. He paired a shirt with a Victorian lace collar and broach to the skirt and boots and the overall effect was quite stunning. As he moved through the song list he seemed relaxed and appealing and his charisma was obvious. He MC’d throughout the set and was able to pace the performance so that his fans did not run out of energy from all of the movement that the music demanded.
Kiwamu was the masculine to GPK’s feminine stylings. He wore a long coat in a militaristic cut trimmed in gold braid and bronze epaulets which was lined with scarlet satin and paired the coat with four inch platforms that buckled up to mid calf. Throughout the evening he sported a fierce expression and stern demeanor but late into the show he did appear to be enjoying the show and the crowds excitement and adulation. He seemed to enjoy having an instrument to play that added to the intricate layers of electronica coming from the speakers. When finally allowed a solo it was edgy and dynamic and retained the intensity that he’d displayed throughout the evening.
There wasn’t exactly an encore but DJ SiSen, Selia and the dancers joined GPKism on stage for their final two songs. Gothique Prince Ken and Selia joined in a beautiful duet, arms entwined about waists, presenting a perfect picture of black and white duality as they sang to each other. This bit of showmanship made the evening even more memorable and was likely a bit of fanservice which certainly worked for their audience.
The only time the audience seemed disappointed was when it became apparent that there wasn’t to be an encore. However, the promise of being able to have a picture taken with either or both of the bands seemed to buoy spirits. Soon most of the room had moved from the stage to the line at the merchandise table where they could have their CD’s signed and the artists were happily meeting their fans and signing.
Live Report by: Haleigh W.
Edited by: Ali W.
Concert Photography by: Hans W.